The Hub also works with the Cynnydd / Progress Project which supports young people aged 16-25 living in Conwy who experience significant barriers to education, employment or training.
Offering a one to one mentoring service, the Progress Project works closely with local schools, Mind, Oak Tree, Conwy Youth Service, Careers Wales, various training providers as well signposting to relevant agencies identifying appropriate support. Incorporating in person support, the Progress Project work with young people building their confidence and self –esteem at their own pace.
With recognition of the significant barriers that young people on the Progress Project experience, 28 have successfully progressed into education, employment or training and 17 young people have been signposted to relevant services according to their needs.
Engagement with the Progress Project also means the beginning of any intervention with services and other professionals with many young people experiencing social isolation, mental health issues and a lack of skills upon leaving school. The Progress Project provides an opportunity to build trust with young people making it easier for them to develop and discover opportunities available to them and their progression.
Cynnydd Case Study
Thalia was referred to the Progress Project in January 2022.
Her main barriers were mild learning needs, social isolation, lack of skills, and difficulty in engaging with EET (employment, education or training). Despite these barriers Thalia was being put forward for employment which did not suit nor support her needs so her Progress Project mentor researched alternatives that were better suited.
Her mentor heard about WeMindTheGap's WeDiscover Programme from Conwy Employment Hub. This is an innovative and transformational programme of support, care, skills and work experience. Thalia enrolled on to the 10-week programme which included fun and interactive workshops to help build skills, an array of inspirational guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds and industries and the loan of a laptop. Thalia loved every minute of the Programme - she made new friends, the virtual meetings gave her purpose and something to wake up for each day and she took part in and enjoyed all the organised trips out.
During this time, Thalia's Progress Project mentor was looking for suitable employment for her and investigated the internships at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as part of the DFN Project SEARCH for those with learning disabilities and/or autism. Thalia loved the sound of the programme as it provides specialist training and work experience in a real work setting, along with help in finding a paid job during the programme. With her mentor’s support, Thalia successfully applied for the Programme and has since secured a job as a care worker.